18 DAYS (also available as a group tour)
Delhi / Samode / Mandawa / Bikaner / Jaisalmer / Jodhpur / Rohet / Udaipur / Deogarh / Roopangarh / Jaipur / Agra / Delhi
Take a glimpse into the fascinating contrasts of the lives of the Rajasthani people. From the pomp and circumstance of the fabulously wealthy Maharajas to the simple lives of the peasants. This tour gives a truly comprehensive insight into Rajasthan, feeling the pulse of this eclectic state.
DAY 1: To Delhi
Fly direct to Delhi. Stay two nights at Oberoi Maidens or similar.
DAY 2: Delhi
Half day sightseeing of Old and New Delhi, including India Gate and Government Buildings sumptuously designed by Lutyens, Humayan’s Tomb, Red Fort and Qutab Minar.
DAY 3: To Samode
Morning drive to Samode with remainder of the day at leisure to explore the palace and village. Delight in the exquisite mosaics, charming mirror work and superb architectural heritage. Overnight at Samode Palace.
DAY 4: To Mandawa
Morning drive to Mandawa via Dunlod and Nawalgarh. Afternoon sightseeing of Mandawa. See the wonderful delicate frescoes in the merchant Havelis. Overnight at Castle Mandawa.
DAY 5: To Bikaner
Morning drive to Bikaner via Fatehpur. Afternoon sightseeing of Bikaner including Junagarh Fort, a bastion against the great Thar Desert and invading hordes. Overnight at Bhanwar Niwas.
DAY 6: To Jaisalmer
Continue journey to Jaisalmer through the enigmatic Thar Desert. Two nights at Fort Rajwada
DAY 7: Jaisalmer
Morning sightseeing of Jaisalmer to be dazzled by the colour and intricacies of the beautiful merchant houses. Also visit the amazing hilltop fort complex, still inhabited by the locals. The history of this ancient caravan route city is fascinating. Afternoon excursion to Sam sand dunes to view the surreal sunset, and enjoy a camel ride on the dunes.
DAY 8: To Jodhpur
Morning drive to Jodhpur. Afternoon city tour, visiting the rambling 15th C Meherangarh Fort dominating the city nestling below, the Jaswant Thada and Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum. Overnight at Ajit Bhawan Palace.
DAY 9: To Rohet
Short drive to Rohet in the morning followed by village safari visiting artisans at work, and meeting the environmentally conscious Bishnoi – a local tribe. Glimpse the wildlife in this challenging environment. Overnight at Rohet Castle.
DAY 10: To Udaipur
Drive to Udaipur via the exquisitely carved marble 15th C Jain temples of Ranakpur. The delicacy of the carving on the marble pillars is astounding. Two nights at Shikarbadi Hotel.
DAY 11: Udaipur
Morning sightseeing of Udaipur visiting the City Palace Complex – note the Elephant mounting blocks in the main courtyard. Walk in the shady Gardens of The Maids of Honour, once only open to Ladies. Sunset boat ride on the romantic Lake Pichola, watching the bewitching reflection of the ancient city as it languidly slumbers in the deep.
DAY 12: To Deogarh
Continue the tour to Deogarh. Optional jeep / village safari, bullock cart rides or bird watching around the lake. Overnight at Deogarh Mahal.
DAY 13: To Roopangarh
Drive to Roopangarh with remainder of the day free to visit Kishangarh to wander the ancient streets, to admire the painted Havelis, or seek out exquisite miniature paintings. Overnight at Roopangarh Fort.
DAY 14: To Jaipur
Morning drive to Jaipur. Rest of the day free to explore the colourful bazaars. Two nights at Alsisar Haveli.
DAY 15: Jaipur
Morning elephant ride up to the stunning Amber Fort of the Rajputs, followed by a city tour in the afternoon including the City Palace, Jantar Mantar Observatory – an amazing collection of instruments gauging the intricacies of the sun, stars and moon – Palace of Winds and Chowri Bazaar.
DAY 16: To Agra
Morning drive to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri, once an ancient capital city of the great Mughal Akbar, abandoned after only 14 years because of drought. It is now a World Heritage site. Optional halt at the famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – another World Heritage site. Overnight at The Trident Hotel.
DAY 17: To Delhi
Unforgettable visit to Taj Mahal, dedicated to endless love, a fitting highlight to end an unforgettable journey. Visit Agra Fort, and imagine Shah Jehan spending his last days imprisoned by his son, wistfully gazing across the Yamuna River to his beloved Mumtaz Mahal, resting in her eternal tomb. Also visit the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula. Late afternoon drive to Delhi International Airport for return flight home.
DAY 18: To London
Early morning departure from Delhi flying direct to London arriving Heathrow in the morning.
Varanasi, Khajuraho, Marari Beach